DUBLIN (Reuters Life!) - Bring a packed lunch to work, skip the latte and don't miss any debt repayments because the bankers will always catch up with you -- are just a few of the tips from Ireland's official "Recession Survival Guide."
Ireland's financial regulator advised citizens reeling from a burst property bubble and record recession on Tuesday that they could save almost 3,000 euros ($3,872) a year through simple steps like buying fewer magazines and shopping around for cheaper insurance.
"Cut back on the little luxuries," the watchdog told readers, who face higher taxes and curtailed public services after Dublin unveiled a five-year austerity plan earlier this month to deal with the worst public finances in Europe.
"Don't take on more debt than you can afford," the regulator warned in the release on its www.itsyourmoney.ie consumer advice portal.
The advice may raise some eyebrows. The regulator is facing a major overhaul following widespread criticism of its failure to curb excessive lending during the height of the "Celtic Tiger" economy and its handling of a number of scandals.
Ireland entered recession last year with a relatively low national debt, but with a deficit projected at more than 10 percent of gross domestic product this year and an estimated economic contraction of around 8 percent, it needs to get its household in order fast.
Reporting by Andras Gergely; Editing by Carmel Crimmins and Paul Casciato